Danish researcher behind promising energy source

Solar thermal energy storage system could be utilised in five years

A team of researchers from Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden has developed a new technique that could eventually have a massive impact as a sustainable energy resource.

The research team, which is headed by a Danish academic Professor Kasper Moth-Poulsen, is close to perfecting a liquid molecule with the potential to store solar energy for years without significant waste.

The research could end up being a considerable boon in the battle against climate change, particularly since the process doesn’t emit any CO2 and negates one of the principle arguments against solar energy – that it only works when the sun is shining.

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Molecular bliss
The method stores the energy from the sun as chemical energy for up to 18 years thanks to a special liquid consisting of tailor-made molecules of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen.

“Many people perhaps don’t realise that half of our energy consumption is dedicated to heating,” Moth-Poulsen told DR Nyheder.

“The liquid is permanently cold so we don’t require insulation. The energy is stored chemically and can be released when it’s needed. It’s an old dream and we’ve likely managed to produce some of the best molecules ever for such a purpose.”

The research team will continue working to create the perfect molecule for energy storage, and the work is still considered as being basic research.

But according to Moth-Poulsen, the technology is close to being mature enough to be applied within the next five years.

The research has been published in the Royal Society of Chemistry scientific journal.

(photo: Chalmers University of Technology)




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